There was one in the middle of the road. Another dead blackbird. Are they fledglings, do you think? I asked him as we walked to our seat, our bench, on North Road. Yes, perhaps. It had been driven over several times but even so one of its wings was bolt up right, half-opened as it arrested in mid-flight. Poor love.

The commission has come through finally. Not a large one but it is money. It is money. It is money, says Victoria Wood’s character Brenda in Dinnerladies, the stress being on the is, as she puts her hand in a black bin bag of her mother’s remains. I don’t fight the work. It isn’t soulful. It isn’t necessarily satisfying but it is money and I am grateful. As I was for the phone call that woke me last night. A booking for this morning, so I have to rush. It is money. And I need that safety. I need to see that it is still flowing to me. This time he sends a picture. This is what he wants. I will do my best by him and by myself. I collect images that thrill knowing all the while that they will play safe. They know what is needed better than I. Never mind. It is work and I am grateful.

We sat in the sun. No one was playing bowls. It was quiet. A few people with dogs strolled by. Another sunny day is promised, the sky is already blue.

Off, I must be off. Adieu.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.